One of the most bizarre news stories of recent times seems to have come to an end, as Florida minister Terry Jones has called off International Burn A Koran Day. Jones’s decision apparently was based on divine input, and he said that he was motivated by the developers’ agreement to move the Ground Zero Mosque. As far as we know, however, no such agreement exists.
The amount of pressure that was brought to bear on Jones and his parishioners (I assume he has some) was remarkable. President Obama made a personal appeal; virtually every political leader in both parties begged Jones not to burn the Korans; religious leaders unanimously denounced Jones’s plan; and he was visited by the FBI. The result, I suppose, is a good one, but it is hard to feel positive about any aspect of this story. We now have firmly established the principle that you can kick Bibles and other scriptures around all you want, but no one in the world can act disrespectfully toward a Koran. It is, perhaps, a watershed moment.
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